Please Know...

As I come to know these fine people, they share with me more of their personal and sensitive stories. Their collective story is what I am trying to share with you as my way of breaking the stereotypical beliefs that exist. "Blog names" have occasionally been given to me by the person whose story I am telling. Names are never their actual names and wherever I can do so, I might use the opposite pronoun (his/her, etc.) just to help increase their privacy.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Just Four People Standing On A Street Corner

 At about 9:00 am this past Sunday, May 21, 2017, I got stopped by a red light at the corner of B Street and Lehigh Avenue in Kensington.  Autumn was standing on the dotted line with her “Hungry” sign.  I handed her two oranges and a piece of paper with Urban Hope’s schedule of weekly activities.  She accepted it with a mild smile as I invited her and her husband David to church.  She declined the invitation and then had the audacity to tell me to have a good day.  It seemed audacious to me coming from a woman who has been living addicted on the streets longer than I’ve been coming to Urban Hope.

It was now about 9:30 am.  I was in the back of the church, near the sound system booth and chatting about David and Autumn with Tommy, a young man who has been delivered from his days of addiction and selling.  We decided to go find them and invite them to church.  As I approached B Street on East Gurney Street which parallels “The Tracks,” I saw them exactly where I had seen her a few minutes earlier.  One way streets being what they are, I rounded the block as quickly as I could while keeping in mind the elderly nature of my Chevy Uplander and the bumps of the Brick Road under of me.

By the time we got to where they had been when I saw them, they were now where I had been when I saw them.  (I should have just parked!)  I called out to them as they crossed Gurney Street while carrying two Wawa bags filled with recently purchased or given food supplies.  Tommy hopped out and went to chat with them while I got the van properly parked.  I got out and joined the conversation there on the corner of B and Gurney, standing next to the stop sign seen at seconds 19-21 in the video to the left.  

And so there we were, four human beings, three men and one woman standing on a street corner conversing - about heroin- their interest in it and our interest in getting them uninterested in it.  Two of us were inviting the other two to church.  Tommy was to my right while Autumn was to my left.  Tommy was wearing his green Urban Hope Shirt.  I wasn’t.  David, with his noticeably missing beard and much shorter hair, was in front of me.  I could not help but notice Autumn’s recently acquired men’s Carhart pants many sizes larger than needed and held up by a bandana belt pulling four belt loops together in the back.

As we chatted, David made it clear that they were meeting someone soon.  As he did so, he bent over and picked up what looked like a Wriggly gum wrapper.  He was looking for leftover drugs.  As I looked down, I realized we were standing in a section of the street with these opened wrappers all over the place.  The conversation ended friendly and we all went our own way, them to their next purchase and us to worship our LORD. 

As Tommy and I drove the five or six blocks back to Urban Hope, he shared with me his insider interpretation on our conversation.  Right now, David and Autumn don’t want out of their current life.  With enough obvious Christian love through prayer from those reading this blog, face to face conversation, oranges and granola bars, that may change one day.  Anyone can be made Clean in Christ. 

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